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[538]

From this somewhat detailed, but hurried, statement, you will see what my recollection is of the time and place of his fall.

Very truly, your friend,



Extracts from, a letter of Captain Clifton H. Smith, A. A. G. Confederate army, to General Beauregard, relative to the battle of Shiloh.

My dear General,—Replying to the questions contained in your note of the 30th ultimo, I beg to state, 1st. The order which you sent to General Bragg, on the afternoon of Sunday, April 6th, 1862, through me, was couched in the following language, namely: ‘Ride to the front and instruct General Bragg to arrest the conflict and reform his lines.’ 2d. I found General Bragg in a slight ravine in the immediate rear of Ruggles's division, accompanied by his staff and escort. The distance from Shiloh church, where I left you, I should judge was between one and two miles. He had evidently but just retired from some portion of his line of battle. General Ruggles himself was immediately at hand. My impression is that they were, or had been, conferring about the disposition of the troops when I rode up and joined them.

I cannot say what brigade of Ruggles's division was in our immediate front, but I am confident none of the troops in that immediate quarter were in offensive action at that moment; for I only remember hearing a dropping fire of musketry, and not the regular roll of a line of battle in action-which, once heard, is ever after easily recognized.

I communicated your order to General Bragg in the exact words I had received it. Without one syllable of comment, he transmitted same to his division commanders, Withers and Ruggles; to the first through his aide-de-camp, and possibly in person to General Ruggles, who was only a few yards off. After the order had been thus communicated to the division commanders, General Bragg, turning to me, asked, ‘Can you conduct me to the place where General Beauregard is at present?’ I replied in the affirmative, and we left the front, riding towards the point where I had parted with you, and where I had left you in conversation with General Prentiss (Federal prisoner, lately captured) beside the rivulet which flowed at the base of the hill, in rear of Shiloh chapel.

* * * * * *

After giving him the order, as before remarked, I remained by his side until we started together to join you. I met some broken bodies of troops retiring from the conflict, as I went forward; one I remember especially, which some of the men informed me was a Kentucky regiment, without ammunition, and its organization almost lost. When I reached General Bragg, the troops appeared to me to be substantially at a standstill, judging from the character of the firing and the condition of things presented to my view.

* * * * * * *

After transmitting your order to his division commanders, we left the front together. From some cause or other, which I cannot at present call to mind, I became detached from General Bragg during our ride; but I have a distinct recollection of again joining him before he met you, for I perfectly remember


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